The adventure of exploring on Anui was about to start again. We could feel it in our heart and see it with our eyes … look around… beautiful curves, rich timber, and a light and feisty craft! Well so we hoped… it might take a while before we can roam far and wide again.
For now we are enjoying our sails to Phillip Island and Wilson’s Promontory. We have had our first real opportunity to use the NKE navigation gear. We have again made use of Steve at Melbourne Marine Electronics who guided Wade on the phone to recover lost settings – don’t ask – and make adjustments. He has been so patient and helpful and got us sorted.
It feels so good to be out of the marina and cruising again! Here is some of what we notice:
- The anticipation as we raise the sails, the sigh of contentment as we switch the engines off and Anui accelerates.
- The noise of the wind, the waves slapping against the hulls, the creaks and groans of the boat… At sea and at anchor, wind and ocean sounds are always present, as is movement.
- The seabirds flying past us and our first albatross for ages – one of the treats of being in southern waters.
- The pod of dolphins escorting us for miles and more of their buddies joining us from different directions, charging towards Anui.
- The cold of sailing along the south coast in Autumn, but the odd pleasure of rugging up.
- The realisation of having forgotten a few of our sailing processes. How can one get so rusty so quickly?
- The exhaustion after a full day sail but pleasure of being in an anchorage somewhere quiet and scenic.
- The peaceful and soothing swinging at anchor as our surroundings slowly move back and forth, with the waves crashing on the beach the only noise, like a gentle breath in the background.
- The magnificent sunrises that make up for early departures.
We missed all that so much! And in this time of turmoil we feel lucky: lucky to be reconnecting with nature, lucky to renew our sea wanderers’ life, lucky to be retired and not have to worry about work, lucky that self-isolation and self-sufficiency are already the norm for us whereas for most people it is a difficult transition requiring a major gear shift in thinking.
So what’s the plan?
We have a month before Wade has to return to Melbourne for follow-ups. However who knows whether these will in fact take place! It is also quite unlikely we will be able to head north afterwards, given the increasing interstate travel restrictions. At this stage all we can plan for is our stay around Wilson’s Promontory for a little while then the Gippsland Lakes.
We intend to make the most of this time on the South Coast, whether it is for a month or much longer. We are in the fortunate situation of being able to enjoy nature on our floating home, keep ourselves safe through isolation for our sake and that of others. We are hoping a short sharp approach is taken in Australia with the lockdown. If everybody responds and does what needs to be done, the pain may be short lived. As Wade’s cousin Brad put it:
Your grandparents were called to fight in world wars, you’re being called to wash your hands and sit on the couch… don’t fuck this up!
Avoiding going stir crazy
We have a bit of a routine in place. It keeps us occupied and physically active, the two things we need to keep ourselves contented. We make sure we do a yoga session daily, we walk the pussycat, might take a walk ourselves, play the piano, read novels on the kindles, write, attend to boat maintenance, play with photos, and cook nice meals.
We are staying connected with friends and family with more regular mobile calls rather than just texts, frequent use of WhatsApp for France. It’s the irony of this crisis: it stops us from being physically close to those we care about, but we are chatting, supporting one another, exchanging news, thoughts and ideas more often so as not to get lonely.
And you, how are you managing? What are you doing to adjust?
Stay hopeful. Stay healthy. Stay in touch.